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Health Care & Environment
01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]
01.14 V.A. Seeks to Redirect Billions of Dollars Into Private Care [The most public and efficient healthcare in America has been demonized and will be destroyed rather than improved, raising total per-capita costs]
01.14 Why thousands of Los Angeles teachers are going on strike [Well at least we got a big tax-cut for the super-rich, that was the most important thing.]
01.08 Monarch butterfly numbers plummet 86 percent in California [0:58 video; Do You Care?]
01.08 Carbon emissions up as Trump agenda rolls back climate change work [Making America Less Great Again]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
01.19 Republicans’ lack of alarm over the shutdown reveals a disturbing truth [Sociopaths have little or no conscience, empathy or morality...]
01.19 Arizona: Four women convicted after leaving food and water in desert for migrants [morality is against the law]
01.18 With Mattis Gone, Trump Is Already Sowing More Global Chaos [Trump plays General—what could go wrong...]
01.18 Impeach Donald Trump
01.18 President Trump Directed His Attorney Michael Cohen To Lie To Congress About The Moscow Tower Project [An impeachable offense]
01.18 10 Things We All Lose If Bernie Chooses Not to Run in 2020 [Intelligent government is desperately needed]
01.17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lambasts US government shutdown in first House speech [3:27 video; Intelligent government is desperately needed]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]
International & Futurism
01.17 White people assume niceness is the answer to racial inequality. It's not [More equality requires us to fix ignored and distorted problems]
01.16 Global tensions holding back climate change fight, says WEF [Consistently stupid and harmful policies... Seeing a pattern?]
Should the Catalyst to Stem the Economic Meltdown be a Stimulus—or a Laxative?
Help a year down the road does little to warm the hearts of those already unemployed, homeless, medically uninsured, and hungry.I’ve been thinking about catalysts. Actually I’ve been thinking the unfolding events in DC, public vigilance, our “one song” political parties, stimulus, and laxatives. A catalyst is a re-agent, a substance, or component introduced into a process to accelerate the output/ production to some predetermined end/objective. We need a catalytic intervention now to stem all the negatives feeding our systemic meltdowns, but... should these have the impact of a stimulus, or a laxative?
You see, the coming week is shaping up to be one of those fictitious “make it or break it turning points" upon which "the economic, financial and monetary future of the nation hangs in the balance.” We will see Congress at its best/worst as it wrangles out its “do or die legislation” to fix all that ails us. The Obama Administration is pushing for the TRILLION dollar bailout package that it promised during the transition and wants to sign into law (as in, yesterday). The public has already been treated to the House of Representatives' version, which is a costly abomination of bureaucratic expansion, porcine generosity to the home districts, and earmarked gifts to the various special interests which underwrote this last election cycle. It's payback time! The Senate version should materialize by Wednesday. It will be different, but will carry the same self-destructive baggage. A committee will reconcile the two. The compromise will go to the President for signing on Presidents’ Day—but neither George Washington nor Abraham Lincoln will be honored by the process.
I spent significant web surfing time over the weekend trying to come to grips as to where we are in the unfolding economic, financial and monetary Armageddon. The pace of the downturn is accelerating, but how much further downwards? is the big question. Cost estimates vary by multiple TRILLIONS. Conservatively, some $20 TRILLION in marketable stock values have evaporated from individual portfolios, pension plans, and retirement accounts. At least 18 MILLION homes are sitting empty and languishing on the resale market—more will join them. RE Market valuations have already dropped by some $ 10+ TRILLION. Unemployment/underemployment impacts some 7.4% of the workforce—upwards to 12 MILLION households. These negatives continue to swell. All agree that “something” massive must be done. Problem is what? And... how much of it?
Our two premier political parties have their stock-in-trade solutions, which are surfacing in the present “name that (tune) solution” sweepstakes. The Demos are pushing more and more money into existing (and new) bureaucratic-driven social engineering programs. The across-the-board failures of Lyndon Johnson’s (if you throw enough money at the problems, they will go away) Great Society gives costly proof how such a massive buck-driven assault does not work. The tax-cut scenarios being pushed by the Repubes on the right side of the aisle have little proof going in their favor, either. I mean, just what does George W, “the tax cut king,” have to show US/us now for his 8 years of tax slashing in light of our present malaise and deterioration? Both parties do agree that war is good for business and helps the economy—so don’t expect any peace initiatives, bringing our troops home, or cutting back on any of our global policy initiatives and/or military bases!
All legislative initiatives, government programs, and public or private investment or consumptive spending will take time. Any stimulation via big (make that MEGA) bucks spending will take at least six to nine months to begin to kick in! Unfortunately, help a year down the road does little to warm the hearts of those already unemployed, homeless, medically uninsured, and hungry—much less those destined to join those ranks in the coming hours, days, weeks, and months.
A multi-pronged-solution assault is necessary, but sage caution is a requirement as well.
A multi-pronged-solution assault is necessary, but sage caution is a requirement as well. Some stimulation and seed money is needed, but just how much of our current problems are based in the albatrosses of worth-less (or worthless) security investments, an overbuilt, overvalued real estate inventory, and a staggering burden of fed, state and household debt? Which catalyst will do it? A stimulus? Or, a laxative?
I’m Fred Cederholm and I’ve been thinking. You should be thinking, too.
Copyright 2008 Questions, Inc. All rights reserved. Fred Cederholm is a CPA/CFE, a forensic accountant, and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., M.A. and M.A.S.). He can be reached at email@example.com.
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This story was published on February 9, 2009.